Ryan Braun continues to mash Philadelphia Phillies pitching, and that may be likely to continue Sunday with Kyle Kendrick on the mound.
Kendrick, however, will be looking to pick up where he left off in his stellar last outing.
Braun will look to help the Milwaukee Brewers take three of four games from the Phillies as the teams conclude their series at Miller Park.
After plating 13 runs to take the first two games of this weekend's set, the Brewers (54-65) fell 4-3 on Saturday, but Braun didn't get the memo to stop hitting. The reigning NL MVP went 3 for 4 with his fourth home run of the series, a two-run shot.
Braun is batting .565 (13 for 23) with six homers, 10 RBIs, nine runs scored and a .630 on-base percentage in six games this season versus Philadelphia (55-65), homering in each of the last five. If he goes deep again Sunday, he will become the first Brewers player to homer in four straight games overall since Prince Fielder did it July 30-Aug. 2, 2008.
"It's going to be a battle with Braun. He's that good," said Phillies starter Cole Hamels, who earned the win Saturday but surrendered the homer to Braun. "There's a constant battle when you have to face the best hitters."
Braun hasn't homered off Kendrick (5-9, 4.53 ERA) but has enjoyed plenty of success in their matchups, going 5 for 10 with one double off the Philadelphia right-hander.
Kendrick is 0-3 with a 4.82 ERA in three starts and three relief appearances versus the Brewers, but he hasn't started against them since 2010.
He's coming off a superb outing, throwing five-hit ball over seven innings of Tuesday's 1-0 victory over Miami.
"If the other team doesn't score, we can't lose,' Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.
Kendrick had gone 0-1 with nine runs allowed over 7 1-3 innings in his previous two starts after spending most of July in the bullpen, but bounced back against the Marlins by throwing 61 of 87 pitches for strikes.
"I am just going to stick to who I am and I was able to do that (Tuesday),' he said.
Kendrick will try to help the Phillies extend the misery of Milwaukee starter Randy Wolf (3-9, 5.65), who is 0-3 in his last five starts and has won just once in 18 outings since the beginning of May. Wolf is 0-2 with a 6.87 ERA in three career starts versus the Phillies, for whom he pitched from 1999-2006.
The left-hander gave up six runs and a season-high 10 hits in five innings of Tuesday's 8-6 loss at Colorado. Opponents are batting .351 off Wolf in his last four outings.
John Mayberry Jr. and Erik Kratz hit back-to-back home runs and Chase Utley and Ryan Howard had two hits apiece Saturday for the Phillies, who snapped the Brewers' eight-game home winning streak and will now try to avoid losing a series at Milwaukee for the first time since 2007.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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